Wow, Ohio zoo scripts history with world’s first in vitro cheetah cubs

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Updated: Feb 25, 2020 12:57 PM

A team observed the births through a remote camera and are continuing to monitor Izzy and the cubs.

vitro cheetah cubs, World first in vitro cheetah cubs born, vitro fertilisation, embryo transfer, Columbus Zoo, Columbus Zoo laboratoryThe male and female cubs were born to 3-year-old Izzy at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on Wednesday, the zoo said in a statement. (AP photo)

Two cheetah cubs have been born through in vitro fertilisation and embryo transfer to a surrogate mother for the first time, Ohio zoo officials announced Monday. The male and female cubs were born to 3-year-old Izzy at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on Wednesday, the zoo said in a statement.

A team observed the births through a remote camera and are continuing to monitor Izzy and the cubs. The biological mother of the cubs is 6-year-old Kibibi who has never reproduced and is too old to easily become pregnant naturally.
Kibibi’s eggs were extracted and then fertilized in a Columbus Zoo laboratory on November 19.

The early stage embryos were implanted into Izzy on Nov. 21, and an ultrasound reveled she was pregnant with two fetuses about a month later. Dr Randy Junge, the zoo’s vice president of animal health, said this development could have broader implications for managing the species’ population in the future.

It was the third time scientists had attempted the procedure and it was the first time it worked, according to zoo officials.

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